AAEM, Take Medicine Back, and Coalition Sends Letter to NC Attorneys General Joshua Stein on Lack of Enforcement of the Corporate Practice of Medicine Laws
The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) with Take Medicine Back and a coalition of local and national organizations have written to North Carolina Attorneys General Josh Stein, who is also president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys Generals. They are requesting an investigation into the widespread violations of the prohibition on the Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPOM) in North Carolina and for consideration in leading a multi-state investigation into widespread lack of enforcement of CPOM laws in the United States.
AAEM defines CPOM as occurring whenever a non-physician individual or corporation exerts control over medical decision-making or collects reimbursement for the medical services of physicians.
AAEM President, Dr. Jonathan S. Jones, states, “In order for patients to receive the best possible medical care, all decisions regarding their care should be made by the highest qualified physicians. And only by physicians. CPOM laws have wisely been enacted in order to ensure this. Unfortunately, bad actors have found ways to evade the laws and to effectively give control over medical decisions to for-profit companies without any medical expertise.”
While prohibited in many states, including by North Carolina in 1955, through a series of legal loopholes and shell corporations, corporate entities including private equity Wall Street firms now own an estimated 40% or more of physicians in emergency departments, determining staffing and influencing care through incentives and intimidation of job-loss, prioritizing profits over patients.
One of AAEM’s subsidiaries, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Physician Group (AAEM-PG), filed suit in the Superior Court of California against Envision Healthcare Corporation alleging the illegal CPOM in December 2021. They are seeking to prevent Envision from using captive medical groups, restrictive covenants in physician contracts, payment of consideration to acquire ED contracts, control over staffing, billing and payor contracts and similar practices which violate California’s CPOM prohibition as well as other laws. In May 2022, the judge denied Envision’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. This decision means that the Court has held that the allegations, if proven, are sufficient to sustain a violation of California law. Learn more.
“AAEM has and will always continue to aggressively fight to ensure that patients receive the best possible care,” says Dr. Jones.
Read the full letter to NC Attorneys General Joshua Stein.
The other organizations part the coalition that sent the joint letter includes: the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association, Americans for Financial Reform, The Free2Care Coalition, Physicians for Patient Protection, American Economic Liberties Project, Louisiana Physicians for Patients, and the Texas Physicians for Patients PAC.